There are many aspects of the natural world that are being affected by climate change, and the population of bees – including honey bees and bumblebees – is one of them.
A 2020 study from the University of Ottawa found ‘the likelihood of a bumblebee population surviving in a given place’ has declined by an average of over 30% over the course of one human generation, demonstrating a dramatic cause for concern for the pollinators.
There are more than 800 wild bee species within Europe, seven have been classified as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), with a further 46 classed as endangered, 24 as vulnerable, and 101 as near threatened.
Many famous faces have raised attention to the bee crisis, with Angelina Jolie recently covering herself in bees to mark World Bee Day for National Geographic.
But why is it that bees are dying, and why is it so important that inspires Hollywood’s rich and famous to don themselves in insects?
Here is what you need to know…
Why are bees dying?
There are many reasons why bees are dying, with humans being the ones largely responsible for their dwindling numbers.
The variety of factors include pesticides, drought, habitat destruction, nutrition deficit, air pollution, and global warming, with pesticides and habitat destruction regarded as two of the most prominent causes.
Urban development across the world and intensive farming have destroyed a number of pollinator-friendly habitats.
Bees need lots of flowers to survive and flourish, as well as areas among vegetation to nest in.
Accroding to Friends of the Earth, 97% of the planet’s vital grasslands have disappeared since the Second World War, taking the bees’ habitat along with it.
Climate change, namely warmer wetter winters, is affecting bees hibernation patterns, as well as the timing of plants flowering, which is a key food source for bees.
Toxic properties in pesticides have also contributed, namely by affecting different species’ ability to breed as well as their disease resistance.
Why are bees important?
Bees are essential to many of the world’s food crops, which is why their dwindling numbers are such a cause for concern.
A spokesperson for GardeningExpress.co.uk previously said: ‘It’s been estimated that bees pollinate around a third of everything we eat, and they play a vital role in sustaining the planet’s ecosystem.
‘They’re incredibly important for the environment and for humanity in general, so we should be doing all we can to help bees survive and thrive.’
Bloom & Wild previously shared some images of what the world would look like without honeybees.
Slide the image below to find out what Kew Gardens in London would look like if bees went extinct.
What can you do to help the bees?
There are a number of ways that you can the bees during their crisis at home.
If you have a garden or balcony, you can turn your outdoor space into one designed with bees in mind.
Something you can do is plant single-headed flowers, which are easier for bees to access.
Try and plant purple flowers too, as it is a colour that bees can identify quickly and easily.
If you’re into DIY, you can even build your own bee hotel out of bamboo, creating a bee-friendly habitat in your own back garden.
Bees also like a place to rest and refresh themselves, so why not add a bee bath as a rest stop for busy bees who pay your garden a visit?
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